[Nottingham] Beginning to program on linux desktop

Matthew Styles matthew.styles at bcs.org
Wed Nov 2 19:54:07 UTC 2016

Microsoft have been going on an odd shift recently in terms of
open-sourcing. .NET isn't open-source, but they are developing .NET Core,
which shared super similar syntax and setup, but anybody can contribute to
the code on GitHub.

They've also gone on a paradigm shift in terms of operating system support
- previously their monopoly position meant they developed everything for
Windows; now you can get Visual Studio Code on Linux distros and Mac OS. Of
course it's not up to the same standard as Visual Studio on Windows, but it
does support debugging, performance monitoring, unit testing, syntax
highlighting, Git, and [one of VS' best features] IntelliSense.

MS bought out Xamarin recently so you can code things in .NET and very
quickly make Android and iOS* apps out of them.

That said, it depends on purpose. I do a lot of .NET for work, but given
the choice would go for Python unless it's very CRUD-centric, which .NET
MVC is perfect for. I also tend to like Python for beginner programming
because it lends itself to teaching good practice through its syntax
(unlike say PHP). Without frameworks it teaches things from the ground up,
so you can make everything from the simplest to the most complex of apps,
whereas with C# .NET, you're looking at having a lot of boilerplate as
Daryl mentions. Apart from being confusing, it's also a lot of unnecessary
clutter for beginner apps.

So yeah, add my +1 to Python.

* iOS app building requires a Mac build server iirc.

On Wed, 2 Nov 2016 at 18:58 Daryl via Nottingham <
nottingham at mailman.lug.org.uk> wrote:

> Hi Ben,
> In all honesty, Linux is very similar to Windows when it comes to
> development. C# was of course originally a Microsoft created language but
> it's available on Linux. Java is very close to C#, and really requires an
> IDE to work with (such as Eclipse, IntelliJ or NetBeans). It also needs a
> ton of boilerplate code, for this reason I don't think either are great
> starting languages.
> I would recommend going with Python, there are a stack of resources
> available online to get you going and it's considered a solid starting
> language. I would try and avoid using an IDE or some super fancy editor at
> first (which does completion/suggestions, etc.), just a simple text editor
> or Python's IDLE - this is just my opinion, but it's important to build
> things from scratch before having some tool assisting.
> Daryl.
> On 2 November 2016 at 17:00, Benjamin Crowe via Nottingham <
> nottingham at mailman.lug.org.uk> wrote:
> Hello,
> I was hoping that this group would be able to help me out. I’m currently
> trying to learn how to code. I’m not sure what language I should start
> with, I have some little experience with C# within the Visual Studio IDE. I
> have recently moved over from Windows to Linux (Fedora to be exact) and
> would like to know what the best open source alternative would be for C#
> and Visual Studio. Googling has raised the possibility of using Java,
> though I’m not sure what IDE would be best. Though could there be other
> languages I'm over looking, I have also been told Python is a fairly
> beginner friendly language.
> Any advice would be most appreciated.
> Regards
> Ben
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